Door Hardware Specifications - Where Do I Start?

Overwhelmed by the amount of information you need?

Posted:  Oct 17, 2018
Doors and door hardware are an incredibly important part of building specifications, and there are a lot of moving parts (pun intended) to getting it all correct. If you’re choosing your own door hardware on a project, here are a couple guidelines to keep in mind as you begin.

Budgetary Requirements – they are not the most exciting part of picking designs and styles, but it is a good place to start to help narrowing down options.  It’s always better to start within your budget than be forced to make cutbacks at the end.

Existing Facility Standards – some projects will already have a lot of the heavy work done for you, if the owner or corporation has a standards that specifies required grades, styles or even brands.

Existing Keying System – buildings undergoing a remodel or retrofit, or that belong to a campus system, may already have a keying system in place; for example, the brand of locks used or the style (six pin systems, electrified systems, etc).  This information needs to be included in section 087100.

Fire & Life Safety Codes – there are several fire and life safety codes in use today, whether they are city or federal laws, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) codes, and how they are enforced differs in every jurisdiction.  Door hardware choices are impacted by these codes, sometimes in subtle and surprising ways!  It’s one reason to have a professional help with specification, as things can get tricky.

Preferred Products/Manufacturers – Buildings on a campus or in a chain of restaurants may all have a theme or style that ties them all together.  This is another thing to keep in mind from the very beginning as it can help narrow down choices. 

Security Requirements – You might be surprised at how many different types of door hardware there are, especially when it comes down to the different security choices.  There are different grades of hardware, that measures their longevity and strength.  Then there are electrified options, and extra security features that have been dreamt up by door hardware nerds.  Different projects will have different needs, another place where professional help can get you the most bang for your buck.

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